ZOO Meets Ryan Giggs!

Ryan – a third Champions League Final in four years. Are you excited?
It’s a tremendous achievement by the team to have played in three Finals in four years. And for me personally, at this age you don’t expect it, so it’s a real bonus!

It’s a replay of the 2009 Final. Does that loss bring back bad memories?
I’ve won a lot of trophies, but it’s funny because in some ways, you remember the times you lost even more as they drive you on. That is definitely a bad memory. When you lose a final and you played well, you realise that can happen in football. But the problem with Rome was that we didn’t turn up and produce what we are capable of. I really don’t know why. It’s a big regret for us.

Time for revenge?
It’s a good opportunity for us to put it right. If you ask all the players who played in Rome, they will say how disappointed they were. Hopefully this time, we can play a lot better.

Or they could give you a hiding. Does that scare you?
Barcelona deserved to win two years ago, no doubt about that. And they are a very good team with probably the best player in the world in Lionel Messi. But there’s no point thinking about that. Everyone’s saying how great Barça are, but this is our chance to show what a good team Manchester United are.

Are they a better team than two years ago?
The nucleus of the team is pretty much the same as in Rome. The football they play is still very good and their passing and movement is still excellent. You can understand why people say they are even better than when we faced them before – but they haven’t won the trophy yet.

So, can you put Messi, Xavi  &  co in their place?
Look, it’s not Barcelona who are saying they are the best side in the world. All of that is coming from other people, so it’s not our problem. They are a very, very good team, but they’re not an unbeatable team.

Have United peaked at the right time this season?
Right now our form is good, but these games only mean something if you win them. I promise you, we weren’t celebrating reaching a Champions League Final. We’ll celebrate if we win the trophy.

Does the fact that the Final is at Wembley make any difference at all?
I think it probably does. It’s obviously great for us, and being an English side going to Wembley gives it something extra – especially for our fans. As players and as a club, we have a lot of great memories of Wembley.

A lot of people had written United off in September…
There will always be people who knock us, we know that. Earlier in the season, we weren’t playing the flowing football we’ve played in the past, simple as that. But we were still winning games and that’s what counts. Now we’re back and it doesn’t matter what people say; what matters to this club is winning trophies.

You first got your hands on the trophy in 1999. Does the 2011 vintage have the same will to win?
Definitely. It’s a quality Manchester United teams have always had. We never give up. Even if there’s only a minute left, we know we can score… and other teams know it, too. It worries them. We’ve already done it in both the league and the Champions League this year and, if we need to do it in the Final, I trust we will again.

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